Reports of President Bola Tinubu and APC Governors choosing Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, former Governor of Kano State, as the successor to the erstwhile National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has ignited turmoil within the party.
Critics within the APC, including National Vice Chairman, Northwest, Salihu Moh. Lukman, have strongly opposed the proposition, labeling it “insensitive” and “politically suicidal.” Concerns were also raised that this move might echo the imposition of Senator Abdullahi Adamu by the former President, Muhammadu Buhari.
The major point of contention is the corruption allegations that have dogged Dr Ganduje, most notably the viral 2017 video purportedly showing him receiving bribes from a contractor and stuffing the cash into his traditional dress (babanriga). The Chairman of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission, Muhuyi Rimingado, asserted that a forensic analysis verified the authenticity of the video.
The APC Governors met and agreed on Ganduje’s candidacy, but some state chairmen expressed disappointment over not being consulted. They had hoped to retain the office of the National Chairman in the North Central zone after being excluded from the National Assembly leadership.
Responding to the controversy, the Kano state Government stated that the choice of Ganduje as APC’s National Chairman is an internal party matter and does not grant him immunity from the corruption allegations he faces.
Dr Ganduje is currently facing multiple corruption charges, including the viral dollar video, an alleged N10 billion loan for a CCTV project that he claims not to have received, and reports of N100 billion missing from local government accounts. Both the EFCC and the Kano State Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC) are planning to investigate these allegations.
In relation to the dollar bribery allegation, the Kano State Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Commission have enlisted the services of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, to lead the commission’s counsel in court.
A previous court order restrained the PCACC from inviting or harassing Ganduje over the alleged dollar bribery videos. However, the matter is scheduled for further hearing on 25th July 2023.
As the controversy escalates, APC faces mounting pressure to address the concerns raised by party members and critics regarding the selection of Dr Abdullahi Ganduje as the potential National Chairman.